Week 39

St Sofia

It’s been a quiet week, as we’d expect after Christmas, but nevertheless, most teams have had some hardy members who’ve got out to walk off that extra slice of cake or the one-too-many mince pies. Special mention goes to Chloe, who has carried the tigers over the border from Serbia into Bulgaria. Not content with just getting the team over the border, she’s cracked on with walks, runs and a long session on the exercise bike to reach Sofia, the capital city. You’ll remember Sofia, from week 17, when the wee monkeys paid a visit. It’s the place with the statue of Emma… The team are there tonight so with any luck they’ll get time tonight and tomorrow to see what delights the city hold. As it’s a capital city it is mostly museums and galleries (and that famous statue), so a bit of a cultured start to the year for our tigers. 

If culture is not the way you had hoped to begin the year, then be of good cheer – according to ‘Rough Guides‘ the night life of Sofia is not too shabby! Under the heading ‘Drinking and Nightlife’ you may be glad to read that ‘drinking in Sofia is a round-the-clock activity, with numerous cafés and kiosks doling out coffee, juice and alcohol during the day, and bars and pubs pulling in punters by night’. So, have a good evening out and some well deserved fun to start the year and to say hello to Bulgaria!

Sleeping Snow Leopards…!

At the far south of Iran, we can catch up with the snow leopards and wee monkeys. Well, to be honest, there wasn’t much catching up required in respect of the snow leopards: no progress made this week, sorry to say! Nary a step recorded. I know, it’s been busy at home, family and friends, the Sound of Music on the TV, and all the rest of it… but I hope it leads to a new year resolution to get off the couch and get out there…! The wee monkeys, by contrast, have made steady progress and are now only 15 miles or so from the border with Pakistan. So they’ll cross pretty soon I guess.

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Golarchi Rice

At the other end of Pakistan the peacocks are also not too far from their next border, the border with India, and the final leg of their Chaparda Challenge. All being well they’ll cross by the middle of the week, and we’ll have more to report in the next diary. For tonight, they find themselves just past the small town of Golarchi, which, sad to say, has very little presence on the internet, so there’s not much I can tell you about it. I did glean that the region produces oil and gas, and grows sunflowers, sugar cane, and especially rice, which provides our featured image for this week. For those who like details and reports, there’s a downloadable study of the regions rice growing economic impact  – riveting stuff. And here’s a (3 minute) video from just a few months ago of the rice being harvested. The other information that Google throws up for Golarchi is that tomorrow, Monday, it’s going to be 27 degrees, so make sure you peacocks have your hats on!

So there we are, another abbreviated diary, sorry to say. Total miles added this week were 231, so we inch closer.

Let me end by wishing everyone a very happy and blessed New Year.